Come on, people! Let’s “Unhate” and kiss!

Does anyone remember “United Colors of Benetton” campaign from years and years ago? It was based on a concept to expose different races to the ideas of tolerance, peace and respect for diversity. Definitely a great message – not sure what it has to do with t-shirts or sweaters, but great message nonetheless.

Now, Benetton is into kissing. Great message as well, if you ask me. Well, the new ad campaign from Benetton is officially called “Unhate” not “Kiss” but it uses Photoshopped montages showing global leaders kissing. So, “Unhate” by kissing! I’m on board. Although, I’m not sure how it would make me wear Benetton clothes…

Let’s have a closer look into smooching world leaders. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shares a kiss with the President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas. The President of France Nicolas Sarkozy is smooching with the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel. Lucky U.S. President Barack Obama locks lips twice: with China’s Hu Jintao and with Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez. And look at the President of South Korea Lee Myung-bak locking lips with North Korea’s Eternal President of the Republic, Kim Il-sung – aah, simply beautiful; “Unhate” indeed.

There’s somebody who’s not much into kissing, though. Guess who?… The Pope, of course! Last Wednesday, the print ad showing the Pope Benedict XVI kissing one of Islam’s leading figures, Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, the imam of the al-Azhar mosque in Egypt, was hung from a bridge near the Vatican. Purely genius! Take a moment to imagine a response from the Apostolic Capital… Yeah, this one containing lots of outcry about a grave disrespect for the Pope, an offense against the faith, a violation of elementary rules to attract attention through provocation, blah, blah, blah…

Of course it’s a form of shock advertising from Benetton! What are you, stupid?! But like it or not, you can see the meaning of “Unhate” campaign in these images – “to combat the culture of hatred in all its forms”. In all its forms. In one way or another. In a kissing way or… Where else would you see the leaders of South and North Korea in such a loving kiss? Or Israel’s and Palestinian’s leaders? Add to this mix Dalai Lama kissing China’s Hu Jintao and you have super “Unhate”… Or would that be tiny too much? Too “Unreal”?

By the way, since the Vatican isn’t obviously a fan of kissing, Benetton pulled the Pope’s poster. But guess what, Vatican folks; it’s all over the web anyway!!! And your outrage advertised this particular image even more! I wonder whether the problem was with the Pope kissing another dude. Naah, probably not. The Vatican wouldn’t approve any smooching by the Pope. Not even with Angelina Jolie.

I thought of another cool montage: Hilary Clinton sharing a kiss with Sarah Palin. Or maybe, if one assumes a possibility that one individual can acquire some intelligence through kissing with another individual, this ad would belong to “Unstupid” campaign. You choose which individual would be undergoing “unstupidity” process… though it’s rather obvious…

Anyway, I’m all for “Unhate” and kissing. For any reason. Or no reason at all.

Benetton "Unhate" campaign: the Pope Benedict XVI and one of Islam's leading figures, Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb.

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One Response to Come on, people! Let’s “Unhate” and kiss!

  1. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

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